Holly Sansom, Operations Director
Holly Sansom is a theatre administrator and co-host of the Thesis on Joan podcast that amplifies LBGTQ+ voices in the NY theatre scene. Their previous experience includes General Manager and Ensemble member of Honest Accomplice Theatre, a company creating devised work by women and trans people; Production Supervisor of the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Roundabout Theatre Company, and Epic Theatre Ensemble.
Liz Morgan, Director of Training & Pedagogy
Liz Morgan is an award-winning theatre artist based in NYC. She has studied theatre and dance abroad at the London Dramatic Academy, the Jana Sanskriti Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed in India and the Yeredon Center for Malian Arts where she facilitated The Communal Bowl Conference on malnutrition and the arts. She holds both a B.A. and M.F.A. from Brown University where she was a graduate teaching fellow in the Theatre Arts department as well as the recipient of the Davis Wickham Prize for Excellence in Playwriting. As a teaching artist in NYC, Liz has worked with Opening Act, The Other Side and People's Theatre Project. She is currently a member of the A.R.T./New York Body Autonomy Leadership Council. lizmorganonline.com
Omari Soulfinger, Director of Communications & Creative Advocacy
Omari Soulfinger is a comedic performing artist dedicated to creative advocacy. Since 2001, Omari has worked with under-served families and their communities in various capacities, including as a classroom teacher, social worker, and advocate. Omari is a member-organizer with Brooklyn Movement Center, a facilitator with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, Ramapo For Children, Mankind Project, and All Kings. omarisoulfinger.com
Philip Santos Schaffer, Development Director
Philip Santos Schaffer is a theatre creator, producer, and administrator. Philip has produced, associate produced, and assistant produced Julie Atlas Muz and Mat Fraser’s Jack & The Beanstalk, the Between the Seas festival, the Living Theatre’s Burning the Living tour, and numerous shows with his own company, WalkUpArts. Philip has worked in development for small arts education and arts access organizations across New York City. Philip has a BFA in Directing from Hofstra University and an MFA in Dramaturgy from Columbia University. www.philipsantosschaffer.com / www.walkuparts.com
Sulu LeoNimm, Executive Director
Sulu LeoNimm (they/them) has worked with TONYC since 2011 as a Joker facilitating Forum Theatre Troupes, Joker Trainings, and workshops, and formerly as Program Director. They support TONYC's membership in ArtsPool as a member of the Operations and Steering Committees. Sulu has been a Brooklyn-based theater artist and physical theater performer since 2003, enthralled with making ensemble-devised work. They created and toured work as co-founder of Pack of Others, and performed with various ensembles in NYC, Denver and Seattle.
Tab Lopez, Production Coordinator
Tabatha R. Lopez (She/her/ hers; They/ them/theirs) is a Brooklyn-born, Brooklyn/Queens raised, Newark, NJ resident with roots in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Tabatha's work is interdisciplinary, weaving together the arts, oral histories and other forms of research, and liberatory practices, focusing on culture, how it shapes who we are, what we do, and how our histories inform our reasons. Their mission is to collaborate on community-based projects that empower those confronting oppression through critically engaged methods, culturally responsive practices, and art forms that facilitate community-based solutions. Tabatha holds a B.A. in Puerto Rican and Latino Studies with minor studies in Philosophy of the Arts from CUNY Brooklyn College and recently completed the M.A. in Applied Theatre program at the CUNY School of Professional Studies .
Adama Diallo, Joker
Amorarey Sandoz, Joker
Amorarey, the young actor from the Bronx, came from joining TONYC in 2017 to now jokering in 2020. The first play he's been in being "Mask Off" by the Bronx Troupe... that troupe's sadly is no longer around, but he sure will be. Amorarey works in the improv troupe Friends of the Family and does stand up comedy at late night bars. He's the guy you can trust to make something out of anything and do it with a laugh.
Gariyana Williams, Joker
Gariyana started working with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC as an Actor with the Crown Heights YO S.O.S. Troupe in October of 2016. Since then, she's gone from Actor to Joker-in-Training, and has been working with TONYC's Housing Works troupe, and her original troupe at YO S.O.S.
Julian Pimiento, Joker
Julian Pimiento comes from a legacy of artists educators and travelers. Julian was born in beautiful Bucaramanga, Colombia, and nurtured his passion for immigrant and human rights growing up undocumented in white-centric working-class Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He explores the complexities and injustices of cultural and social assimilation through playwriting, acting, directing, and Theatre of the Oppressed Jokering. Julian holds a BA in Individual Studies (with a focus on Latino Studies and Theatre of the Oppressed) from Goddard College and a MA in Applied Theatre from The City University of New York.
Letitia Bouie, Joker
Letitia started acting with the Concrete Justice Troupe in May 2013. Her first play was “The Housing Circus” and the character she took on was the Lion Tamer, a character who personified her real life experiences. She worked hard by attending TONYC workshops and events that geared her towards becoming an activist/actress while learning more about people who have experienced homelessness. In November 2017, she took on the role of Joker/Facilitator, joined the P.B.NYC Budget Committee, and became one of TONYC’s Arts & Homeless / Housing & Equity Justice Delegates.
Spark LeoNimm, Joker
Spark LeoNimm is a trans-feminine non-binary trouble maker and a Joker with TONYC. They are also a professional therapeutic hospital Clown with Healthy Humor, Inc and have toured with Clowns Without Borders to Mexico & Guatemala. Spark is a 5 time recipient of a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council to teach Clown as a creative aging program for seniors. A graduate from the Dell 'Arte School of Physical Theatre, they also create subversive award winning physical comedy: tinyDANGEROUSfun! variety show & Handshake Uppercut. Awards: Gold Medal, NY Clown Olympics; Best Comedy & Best Physical Theatre, SF Fringe Fest; Encore Award, Boulder Fringe Fest; "Must See," Chicago Fringe Fest; Grants: Individual Artist Project Award; Rasmussen Foundation, SU-CASA grant. https://linktr.ee/sparkleonimm
Katy Rubin, Founder & Former Executive Director
Katy Rubin is a joker, director, actor and circus artist. She has facilitated and directed Forum and Legislative Theater workshops and performances in partnership with various communities including homeless adults and youth; LGBT homeless teens; people living with HIV/AIDS; recent immigrants; and court-involved youth and adults. Katy trained with Augusto Boal at the Center for Theatre of the Oppressed—Rio de Janeiro, and later with Jana Sanskriti in India, Mind the Gap in Yorkshire and Cardboard Citizens in London. She has trained facilitators in Nicaragua, the Netherlands, Norway and New Orleans as well as NYC. She holds a BFA in Acting from the Boston University School of Theater. Photo credit: Will O'Hare
Patrick Kowalczyk, Board Chair
Patrick Kowalczyk is the founder and president of PKPR, a boutique public relations firm representing organizations working to disrupt business as usual and create positive social change. Clients include The Knight Foundation, The Mozilla Foundation, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, Echoing Green, The Dayton Literary Peace Prize, ESI Design, ArtBuilt, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Patrick began his career working in politics, including serving as press secretary for U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), the first woman elected to Congress who had once received public assistance. He graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Media. Patrick has been on the board of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC since 2015. He previously served as a board member of Live Out Loud, an organization for LGBTQ youth, from 2005 - 2014.
Josh Van Kirk, Board Member
Josh Van Kirk is an associate attorney at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in the Capital Markets practice. Prior to law school Josh worked in a variety of direct service and administrative roles in education including as a teacher in both the New York City and Baltimore City Public School systems, as a college access and success counselor at a non-profit organization in New York City and the executive director of a not-for-profit early education center in Vermont. Josh earned a JD, magna cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School in 2017, where he was a Sparer Public Interest Fellow, an MA in education from Johns Hopkins University in 2002 and a BA in English from the University of Vermont in 1999.
Juncal Plazaola-Castaño, Board Member
Mersadez George, Board Member
Mersadez is a freelance artrivist who uses a variety of art forms to advocate and create positive and meaningful change.
Roni Givigliano, Board Member
Roni believes theatre's aesthetic and political missions are inseparable. She has worked at a range of brilliantly innovative arts nonprofits, among them the Lark Theater Company, Atlantic Theater Company, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Woodshed Collective, Dance New Amsterdam, and Breaking Walls. Fascinated and inspired by artists and their work, she's made her career facilitating and supporting choreographers, playwrights, filmmakers and multi-media artists, devoting herself to ensuring a future for the increasingly threatened spheres of the arts. She holds a BA in Theatre from Cornell and an MFA in Film from Columbia.
Sharon Polli, Board Member
Sharon Polli has a successful 15-year track record of supporting community-based arts and culture organizations. Currently, Sharon is Executive Vice President at BRIC, Brooklyn’s leading presenter of free cultural programming. During her tenure with BRIC, Sharon first worked with the Board and staff to get the organization into a state of readiness for the opening of BRIC House, a state-of-the-art arts and media center in the Brooklyn Cultural District. Today, Sharon is charged with developing long-term strategies to ensure BRIC can continue to make cultural programming accessible and provide substantial support to artists. Sharon also served as Deputy Executive Director of Groundswell, New York City’s leading community public art organization, where she oversaw day-to-day operations to ensure the meaningful engagement of 800 youth and 65 community-based partners in the creation of 60 public artworks annually. Sharon is an alumni of Coro Leadership NY and a graduate of Carleton College. She is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC.